I hope you have all survived the holiday period and are feeling optimistic about this year. I am very much hoping we will see the end of the Covid pandemic this year and our lives can return to a semi-normal state. I also hope that our mental health will improve and that we will find ways to feel more in tune with ourselves, our needs, our bodies and our minds.
Mental health has been affected so much over the last couple of years due to the pandemic but it has been even tougher for those of us who have had numerous other struggles due to a traumatic past, toxic family members, grief, financial insecurity and other physical health issues.
For those of us specifically, who struggle with anxiety and CPTSD, we know all too well how tricky it is to keep our emotions regulated when we are triggered or scared.
Personally, as a lot of you may already know, I have always struggled with anxiety and low mood. Over the last couple of years however, I have been able to manage my symptoms much more successfully. This has made it easier for me to support others through my coaching and Youtube channel and to also continue to work on my own personal development through more training. Yoga has become a big part of my life, as is walking my dog and trying to keep active. Deep breathing and mindfulness has also helped immensely but the one thing I still struggled with until recently, was getting myself to an immediate state of calm when in the grips of anxiety.
The worst of my anxiety is usually when I travel by plane or when I have to do something that puts me in the spotlight. I also get extremely anxious when I think about losing someone I am attached to. Just before Christmas, I decided to try something completely different and was gifted something that eases anxiety. Although I was rather skeptical at first, after reading so many good reviews about it, I decided to give it a go.
This device is called CalmiGO.
CalmiGO is scientifically proven and uses 3 methods to lower anxiety levels:
-Multi-sensory stimulation or grounding
-Breathing regulation (exhalation prolongation)
These 3 methods combined, activate the parasympathetic nervous system and lower stress level hormones.
CalmiGO is drug free and safe to use and if you would like to find out more about it, then feel free to click on this link:
My experience with using CalmiGO so far has been absolutely brilliant.
After trying this device for 3 minutes as recommended, I immediately noticed a reduction in my anxiety levels.
The most important part of the device for me is that it encourages you to prolong your exhalation. This is scientifically proven to decrease those awful symptoms of anxiety such as dizziness, accelerated heart rate, nausea and chest pain. When we are anxious, we end up breathing much too fast which results in a decrease of PCO2 levels. CalmiGO reverses this with exhalation prolongation. Since prolonging my exhalation was always the trickiest part for me, CalmiGO has been incredibly helpful in getting me to do this successfully. It vibrates and lights up whenever you reach a long enough exhalation, so this helps immensely when you are doing this for 3 minutes or more. Take a look at the photos below for an idea of what CalmiGO looks like and how to use it.
When I ordered CalmiGO, it arrived wonderfully packaged and came with a very detailed guide on how to use it effectively. It came with a little rubber cover and also an easy to use pouch to carry it in. There was also a pack of AAA batteries, a small screwdriver and a pack of 2 scented element attachments. One of these scented element attachments is placed on the front of the device near the ‘on and off’ switch. My preferred choice was lavender but you can also choose peppermint or bergamot if you prefer.
Although there is a detailed guide on how to use it effectively, there is also a tutorial video which you can watch here:
Since I have found CalmiGO so incredibly useful in my personal life, I decided to collaborate with the founders of CalmiGO and I am offering a $30 discount on every purchase made through their website.
By adding the code COURAGE as a voucher when you add CalmiGO to your shopping cart, you get the above discount on the total price. Go to the link below to gets yours 🙂
CalmiGO really is an investment in a life with less anxiety.
For those of you who live with CPTSD or PTSD, CalmiGO will help ground you and if used every day for a month during a time where you are really struggling with panic and anxiety, you will see a huge decrease in your symptoms.
If you have any questions or would like to share your experience using CalmiGO, then please feel free to leave a comment below.
If you have experienced narcissistic abuse or had close contact with someone that has narcissistic personality disorder, then it may interest you to know that there are 2 types of narcissists. High functioning and low functioning.
Over my life time I have had experience with mostly high functioning narcissists but I have also witnessed these same high functioning narcissists move to low functioning at times.
Over the last 9 months, I have been lucky enough to connect with Kayla on her brilliant journey of self-evolving. Kayla is a counsellor who very much enjoys supporting her clients in becoming the best version of themselves, as she also does for herself.
Kayla has created this brilliant brand which celebrates those of us who keep evolving and growing in our mental health journeys.
Kayla’s website is brilliant and deserves celebrating.
You can read about 3 self-evolvers’ journeys and also buy some brilliant clothing and accessories that are inspiring and mental health promoting.
You can also become an ambassador for the brand, if you think this is something you would enjoy.
After the success of my Assertiveness PDF Course, I have decided to release my first E-book/Guide ‘Dealing with CPTSD triggers in relationships’-A helpful guide for both partners.
This is something I have been working on for awhile and especially because so many of you have reached out to me struggling with your partner’s triggers.
This ebook is available on Amazon Kindle and I am selling it for £5.06 but I am offering the first 15 of you the opportunity to buy it for only £2 by sending payment to my PayPal at email@example.com.
If you are in need of support in your relationship, then order your discounted copy NOW!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org confirming that you have made payment and you will receive your discounted copy!
If you support me on Patreon, you will get this e-book for free 🙂
I will be creating a video on my YouTube channel to promote this e-book but I would very much appreciate a reblog of this post, if you think this ebook would help anyone you know.
I want to help as many people as possible as this is something that I have personally struggled with in my relationship.
To buy the Kindle version on the UK Amazon click below!
A lot of research has gone into this video which has a questionnaire about helping people identify whether they might be suffering with CPTSD. I set up a poll on my youtube page, asking my subscribers to choose a video topic out of 4 options and this video was the most popular choice.
As I myself have answered ‘Yes’ to around 34 out of the 40 questions on this questionnaire and have also been diagnosed with CPTSD from 3 different therapists, I know that this questionnaire is very accurate. I created it to help my clients feel validated and to provide a stepping stone in the right direction towards their healing journey.
It is highly important to stress that there are 2 different types of abuse that a child can suffer in their family home. Overt abuse and covert abuse. Most abuse survivors, who have experienced a combination of these 2 types of abuse, will answer ‘YES’ to all 40 questions and will have all CPTSD symptoms, as well as visual, physical and other sensory flashbacks, along with extreme dissociation. Those survivors who have only suffered from covert abuse, also score high on this questionnaire (as much as 38 out of 40). This proves the severity of both types of abuse and sadly many therapists don’t take covert abuse seriously, when they should.
I wholeheartedly hope you find it helpful and if you think others will find it useful and validating, then please share this post as much as possible, .
Also please feel free to add your answers in the comments below this post, or on my youtube channel! Please specify whether you experienced overt abuse or covert abuse or both.
It is important to know the steps of what to expect after realising your parents are abusive. It is crucial to finally understand why and how you were & are affected by narcissistic abuse. Giving what you have been through a name, is the beginning of your healing journey. It allows for validation of your feelings and to finally KNOW that it wasn’t your fault – It was your parents fault!
To actually work through the emotions, the acceptance of not having had healthy parents and the grief that goes with it, is a whole different challenge however. To reach a better state of mental health, you have to dig deep and allow a lot of painful feelings to come to the surface. Only after working through these painful emotions, will you then have the opportunity to look at your life through a different lens. To look at yourself with more self-compassion & understanding and to learn to set boundaries, takes practice and you need an experienced therapist on your side.
A psychological coach, which is what I have trained as, can support you in changing self-defeating thoughts or behaviours and can support you in the present to move forward with goal setting. A coach is not qualified to guide you through your grieving or acceptance in depth. That is a therapist’s job.
I have had a lot of teenagers watch my youtube videos and I am very much aware that I have to post videos carefully and support these children appropriately.
With empathy & unconditional positive regard, a child can feel a little bit better.
I know that if I had had this support as a child, it probably would have made a world of difference to my mental health.
This is the main reason I am passionate about supporting young people. They need someone to have their back with no strings attached. With narcissistic parents/step-parents, there are always strings attached. There is always some nasty remark waiting to be used against their child/step-child.
Children deserve unconditional love, acceptance, validation of their feelings and a safe environment to call home. This has to become a priority in our society.
Somatic experiencing, helps restore the natural energy balance in our bodies. It helps with restoring the energy flow in our bodies, in places where it is stuck due to stress, injury or trauma.
Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) was developed by Peter A. Levine, PhD to address the effects of trauma. Levine developed this approach after observing that prey animals, whose lives are routinely threatened in the wild, are able to recover readily by physically releasing the energy they accumulate during stressful events. Humans, on the other hand, often override these natural ways of regulating the nervous system with feelings of shame and pervasive thoughts, judgments, and fears. Somatic Experiencing aims to help people move past the place where they might be “stuck” in processing a traumatic event.
The Autonomic Nervous System and Somatic Experiencing Theory
The autonomic nervous system (ANS), which includes the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), and the enteric nervous system (ENS), is triggered into action when we’re faced with adversity and it governs the fight, flight, or freeze instinct. Although designed to be self-regulating, the ANS can become dysregulated, particularly when full expression of one’s response to trauma is repressed. As a result, the body continues to respond as if it is under threat. Somatic experiencing contends that negative symptoms of trauma—such as anxiety, hypervigilance, aggression, and shame—result from denying the body the opportunity to fully process the traumatic event.
Though many people who experience traumatic events recover completely, for those who do not, unresolved trauma can lead to larger mental and physical health concerns, such a post-traumatic stress (PTSD),sleep problems, mood swings, or immune system problems. Somatic Experiencing aims to restore the body’s ability to self-regulate in order to achieve balance and integrity.
Method of Somatic Experiencing
Somatic Experiencing sessions involve the introduction of small amounts of traumatic material and the observation of a client’s physical responses to that material, such as shallow breathing or a shift in posture. The therapist will frequently check in with the client to assess and record somatic sensations that may be imperceptible to the practitioner, such as feelings of heaviness, tightness, or dizziness. Practitioners proceed carefully and cautiously to avoid retraumatizing or triggering the client, and they help people to develop and employ self-regulating strategies. A key component to enhancing one’s ability to self-regulate is the practice of alternating, or “pendulating,” between the sensations associated with trauma and those that are a source of strength and comfort.
The SE practitioner will help the client find places of safety, whether that be a place in the body that is not activated by the trauma, or a physical place to retreat to in one’s mind. Experiencing the sensations related to the traumatic event in a safe way allows a person to fully process the trauma. Clients also achieve heightened awareness of their physical responses to stress, and this skill can serve them in everyday life.
The above text is from the goodtherapy.org website and is the best explanation I have found on somatic experiencing.
As somebody who lives with muscular armouring, which is a result of my CPTSD, I know how uncomfortable my body feels, especially around my neck, chest and back. Due to high stress throughout most of my life, this has resulted in a feeling of tightness in my chest, headaches, clinched shoulders, tight upper back and more. I also notice myself neurotically holding my belly muscles, which in turn disrupts my healthy diaphragmatic breathing. Sometimes, I have to remind myself to relax my breathing and in turn relax my muscles but unfortunately this isn’t enough in the long run, as my painful symptoms always return.
Muscular armouring causes Myofascial pain. Myo stands for muscle and fascia is the connective tissue that holds everything together. In more simple terms, when someone is stuck in a hyper vigilant state, this causes intense muscle tightness (muscular armouring) which results in Myofascial pain. Fibromyalgia is also a condition that can develop from prolonged trauma and is very difficult to diagnose in a lot of cases.
For those of you who have suffered trauma in your childhood or any other sort of trauma, it is worth paying attention to your physical symptoms, as body and mind are connected. If you have only tried talking therapy but haven’t tried somatic therapy, then I highly recommend that you consider it.
The theory behind somatic therapy is that the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related and connected to each other. Talk therapy is combined with physical techniques, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and meditation. Other techniques used include dance, exercise, yoga, or other types of movement, vocal work, and massage.
It is important to be in touch with your body and to practice self-care as much as possible.
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